Joey Conover and Jeff Erkelens own Latitude 38, a company committed to sustainable building and energy efficiency. They are so dedicated to this cause that they live in one of their own projects – the Sixth St. Passive House.
When selecting the HVAC for their new 3,168-square-foot home, the couple was tasked with finding a system that would meet the stringent energy efficiency requirements for Passive House certification. They called in Certified Passive House Consultant John Semmelhack, who said our M-Series multi-zone system was “a given” for the job. The bottom floor of the three-story house functions as a rental apartment. The zoning feature gives Joey, Jeff and the tenants personalized comfort control. The system’s INVERTER technology and cooling and heating capabilities deliver the efficiency a Passive House necessitates. In fact, the Sixth St. Passive House currently uses a fifth of the energy that would be expected from a house of its size.
Why would you turn on the water in your whole house just to get a drink from the kitchen faucet? That’s the question our newest commercial poses to viewers. “Water Works” shows the inefficiency of traditional HVAC systems that require homeowners to wastefully cool and heat their whole home in order to be comfortable in the one room they’re in. Our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning systems allow homeowners to make comfort personal and choose which rooms to cool and heat and to what comfort level.
Watch “Water Works” below and keep an eye out for it on HGTV and other major TV networks!
Compact living is growing in popularity, so much so that there’s now a TV show devoted to it. Owning less space doesn’t necessarily require sacrifice, however. Those who have already taken the plunge into the tiny house real estate market are proving that designing the form to maximize the function is not only possible but, in some cases, preferable.
Living Pods. Modular, fold-out furniture and home amenities have emerged to cater to the minimalist and wanderlust-type downsizers.
Cocoon 1 by Micasa Lab is a plastic pod that contains built-in furniture, a kitchen and a power pack that can provide either 40 hours of light or 20 hours of light plus 30 minutes of cooking.
Skinny Houses. We highlighted these vertical homes on the blog in April. Built to be less than 10 feet wide, Skinny Houses have provided a unique way for city dwellers to stake a claim as cities grow increasingly dense and expensive.
Spite Houses. Frank Lloyd Wright once said: “A building should appear to grow easily from its site and be shaped to harmonize with its surroundings if Nature is manifest there.” Wright would have appreciated the up-and-coming Spite Houses – homes built according to the site they sit on.
The owner of the Hollensbury Spite House wanted to prevent people from using the alley that separated his two row homes in Alexandria, Virginia, so he built the 7-foot-wide, 25-foot-deep dwelling in between.
A small strip of land was left untouched when a street was constructed in Northern California. The location was too good to pass up for the owner of the Alameda Spite House, a 10-foot-wide home that was built on the lot.
A fisherman in Eureka, California, wanted convenient access to the water. Sitting on the canal, the 384-square-foot cabin has boat storage beneath it and a sleeping loft over the kitchen.
Micro Apartments. There are more unmarried people in the U.S. today than there are married. There’s a growing demand for affordable studios and small dwellings, and builders in New York City are responding. Fifty-five apartments, ranging from 260 to 360 square feet in size, are currently under construction in the Big Apple.
Is the land or are the people dictating home building? We may never know, but we do know that the industry will have to continue to adapt accordingly.
There are approximately 40,000 certified Passive Houses (PHs) worldwide. That may seem like a large number but in actuality 40,000 represents only 0.002 percent of the homes in the world today.
In a recent issue of Home Energy magazine, Mike Smith, our senior marketing manager, residential products, shared why this is the case.
They’re relatively new.
They must meet stringent criteria.
They can be costly to build – five to 20 percent more than a standard home.
The elements of PH design can be difficult for homeowners to understand – like why their insulation must be one foot thick.
The good news is building PHs is growing and the Pacific Northwest is leading the way. In fact, more than a third of the nation’s certified PHs are located in the upper left of the U.S.
Salem, Oregon is home to the Rue-Evans residence, the region’s first certified PH.
Park Passive in Seattle is a PH that The Seattle Times said “[the owners] heated last winter using the clothes dryer.”
The Full Plane PH in Portland, Oregon met PH standards and even the rigorous Living Building Challenge™ by achieving net zero energy, waste and water.
“As time passes, we will see more and more projects like the Full Plane PH and its Pacific Northwest neighbors,” Mike says. “Not every house will be passive within our lifetime but it’s an exciting time for building and home energy professionals.”
AIA 2015 will kick off today with f ormer President Bill Clinton delivering the keynote speech. The AIA Convention is the industry’s largest architectural and design event and will run through Saturday, May 16. Two hundred seminars – including one on the design and construction of the 9/11 Memorial Museum – and over 50 tours of Atlanta’s most iconic sites will take place over the next three days to offer attendees an exclusive look at the past, present and future of architecture.
Come to booth #4259 to learn how HVAC fits into the design solution. We’re showcasing our state-of-the-art, energy-efficient solutions and controls technologies that are improving the way architects design buildings and how people achieve personal comfort control.
The AIA Convention is truly an architectural and design party you don’t want to miss. Stop by booth #4259 to see how we’re joining in the celebration.
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Foundation Communities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building sustainable and affordable homes for low- to moderate-income families in Austin, Texas. The M Station community is a result of this effort.
Architect Sunshine Mathon, LEED AP and director of design and development for Foundation Communities, designed M Station with an aggressive green building goal of LEED® Platinum certification. A vital component to meeting this goal was our VRF technology.
Mathon selected our R2-Series heat pump systems for the job. Conventional systems would have required 150 compressors for M Station’s 150 apartments – only 19 of our outdoor units were needed. Occupant comfort was the utmost importance. Our systems deliver best-in-class climate control for the tenants year-round.
M Station ultimately exceeded the certification requirements by more than 25 points. To learn more about how our VRF technology helped, click here.
Our elite Diamond Service Group (DSG) members – 141 in total – gathered at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri, March 24-26 for our 2015 DSG Conference. This annual event brought together our network of technical service professionals from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The goal of the conference is twofold: to offer an exclusive opportunity for DSG members to learn about the latest advancements in the HVAC industry and to provide a platform for members to exchange ideas, experiences and solutions.
This year’s conference included:
Breakout sessions and orientations on new innovative HVAC products.
Educational sessions focused on advance product service training, updated technical support and troubleshooting tips.
Open forum for DSG members to share service knowledge, resolutions and insights.
Educating and empowering our members help them grow their businesses and stay ahead of the competition, which in turn enhances our expert network of DSG members worldwide.
Registration for our free, hour-long webinar, “Whole Building Control: From Idea to Reality,” is now open!
On May 20, we are joining forces with BUILDINGS magazine to discuss the evolution of controls technology – from individual and centralized controls to today’s advanced systems that offer an unprecedented level of whole building automation.
Join our very own Kevin Miskewicz, LEED® Green Associate and senior manager – commercial marketing; Charles Miltiades, product manager – controls; and Jason Whipple, senior manager – controls solutions.
Kevin, Charles and Jason will discuss:
Current industry trends informing controls system development.
The context for the recent developments in controls systems.
What today’s most advanced systems look like and how they differ from earlier technologies.